TWU stages world premiere about refugees to Canada
Freedom Hall22 Nov '16 to 03 Dec '16 @ 7:30 PM - 10:30 PM
Trinity Western University students have created an original theatre production based on personal interviews with refugees to Canada. The show, called disPLACE: Refugee Stories in Their Own Words, tells the true stories of people who courageously shared their experiences with the artists – from Mennonite immigrants who fled Europe after World War II, to recently arrived Syrian refugees.
One family, fleeing guerrilla forces in Colombia, concealed themselves among the furniture in a moving truck. A refugee from Iraq arrived in Delta as a teenager, braving the social dynamics of high school with very little English and her head shaven from surgery. These and other personal experiences, captured word-for-word in the dialogue, take on even more poignancy with the original music woven through the production.
“I was stunned by the stories we heard,” said Langley’s Kate Nundal, a third-year Theatre major who plays violin and viola in the show. “I’ve seen stuff like this on TV, but knowing that someone right here in my community actually witnessed a moment like that – hearing it from her own lips – that’s something else altogether. Creating disPLACE has changed me more than any other theatre experience I’ve had.”
Director Angela Konrad, Chair of Theatre at TWU’s School of the Arts, Media + Culture, conceived disPLACE to be presented in the SAMC season as a launch piece for her newly formed company, Dark Glass Theatre. The school’s leadership readily agreed to partner on the production. Humanitas Anabaptist-Mennonite Centre, which has ties to TWU, is the umbrella organization for Dark Glass Theatre and will continue to support the company’s future productions.
“The mandate of Dark Glass Theatre is to tell stories that enable us to see, face-to-face, people we might not otherwise meet,” Konrad explains. “Compelling, personal stories can have a profound impact—decreasing judgement, increasing compassion, and fostering empathy. I believe it’s essential for TWU students to work on projects like this.”
Konrad and the rest of the creative team will host an informal, educational event for high school students on November 30. The night includes dinner, admission, and a post-show talkback for $10. To register, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
disPLACE features five actors who transform themselves into multiple characters over the course of the show: Uliana Akulenko, Emmett Hanly, Keenan Marchard, Kate Nundal, and Jane Oliphant. The dates are November 22 to December 3, Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2:00 p.m. on December 3 at Freedom Hall, Trinity Western University, Langley. Each performance is followed by a talkback, moderated by a specialist in refugee issues. Book tickets at www.twu.ca/theatre or call 604.513.2188.
During the event, over 500 participants will don red and white t-shirts, coming together to help create all the parts of the Canadian flag, our national emblem. Photos of the flag will be captured from above.
The Kwantlen St. Farmers Market creates a space in Richmond where shoppers, families, and students can access products grown and crafted by local farmers and artisans, including KPU’s own Sustainable Agriculture students.
Hoop dancing, cedar weaving, a dance performance by Butterflies in Spirit and a special presentation by KPU’s Elder in Residence Lekeyten will all take place in KPU’s courtyard or Surrey Main atrium – weather dependent – starting at 12:30 p.m.
Offering a behind-the-scenes experience of Surrey’s culture, history, art, and architecture, this free community event ‘opens the doors’ to exhibitions, family activities and community venues, including parks, public works facilities, museums, and recreation centres.